In August 2015, I went to Washington, D.C. for training with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to become a Food for Life instructor, and I could never have predicted the impact the experience would have on me.
Though I had been excitedly waiting for nearly a year to complete the very thorough and extensive application process to teach this award-winning nutrition and cooking program that was designed by physicians, nutrition experts, and registered dietitians, I still was not prepared for the extent and magnitude of the upcoming training.
Online, through plant-based Facebook groups, I had met a handful of others that had also been selected to attend training and certification. A few of us had corresponded in the months leading up to our August classes, so it was nice to feel like I knew some of the other participants a little bit.
However, once training began, I realized just how diverse the group was with participants from Italy, Hong Kong, Canada, and South Africa. There were physicians, registered dietitians, Ph.D.’s, restaurant owners, and everything in-between. It was amazing to be part of such a group!
Training began as a whirlwind with welcome, introductions, and an overview of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Then there was a succession of experts–Dr, Neal Barnard (president of PCRM), dietitians, and people with lots of letters following their names–that gave empowering lectures.
As the days went on, I became more and more confident about my ability to teach others about the power of food for healing the body.
The days and classes continued with program guidelines and agreements, guidance in the administration process, class demonstrations from the seasoned professionals, curriculum overviews, technical aspects of cooking demonstrations, sales, and marketing orientation, and media training.
And finally, on the last day of training, we were taken to one of Washington, D.C.’s Whole Foods Markets where we individually gave live cooking demonstrations. No pressure, huh?!
To say that I was nervous is a complete understatement! There’s nothing like taking a small town country girl from North Carolina and putting her in the ginormous city of D.C., in a food retailer as large as Whole Foods Market (this one was on steroids compared to any Whole Foods I had ever seen–2 stories high!), and telling her to teach and cook.
I was completely out of my element! But I smiled, sucked it up, and did as I’ve been told many times, ‘Fake it till you make it!’ Though I can’t remember much about what I actually said, it must have been okay because they gave me my Instructor License.
Now I’m back home, with a mountain of textbooks and curricula to study. Thankfully, since I’m a research nerd, I had already read all three of the textbooks….maybe more than once… I told you I’m a nerd. So, my workload is a little less than many of the other newly licensed instructors. Which is a good thing since I already have an introduction class scheduled for September 15th at a local physical therapy medical facility, and my first series, Kickstart Your Health, is scheduled to begin October 7th.
I’m also talking with two hospitals about scheduling sessions to begin in the fall. PCRM also has an Employee Wellness program for employers, so I can’t wait to begin exploring that option with local businesses.
I’m bursting at the seams to get this show on the road! This little Carolina girl is eager to get out there and hold the hands of those suffering from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and so many other health issues. I want to share the avalanche of scientific research supporting the link between diet and health, watch as participants experience the benefits of plant-based nutrition, and learn the practical cooking skills needed to aid them on their journey to better health.
I can’t wait to help others understand how easy and satisfying plant-based nutrition can be and watch their transformation back to health. Read about my personal journey back to health HERE.
Now that I’m all trained up, nothing can stop me. Lookout North and South Carolina, I’m on my way! Let’s do this! Here’s my profile page with Physicians Committee PROFILE PCRM.